World

Prayers & tears as Asia mourns tsunami victims 10 years on
Friday, December 26, 2014

BANDA ACEH -- December 26, 2014: Tearful memorials were being held today across tsunami-hit nations for the 220,000 people who perished when giant waves decimated coastal areas of the Indian Ocean a decade ago.
 
On December 26, 2004, a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia's western tip generated a series of massive waves that pummelled the coastline of 14 countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia....

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German business slams growing anti-Islam rallies
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BERLIN -- December 23, 2014: A powerful German business leader slammed a growing anti-Islam movement in the country today, saying Europe's top economy needed more immigration to remain competitive and should take in more asylum seekers.
 
The president of the German Federation of Industry, Ulrich Grillo, said the emergence of the group "Patriotic Europeans Against the...

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Lessons on tsunami hit by disaster amnesia
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PHUKET -- December 23, 2014: Ten years after the deadliest tsunami on record wrought destruction across the Indian Ocean, creeping complacency is undermining a hi-tech warning system designed to prevent another disaster of such shocking magnitude.
 
In the morning of December 26, 2004, a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia's western coast generated a series of...

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German pro- and anti-Islam groups protest
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BERLIN -- December 22, 2014: A record 17,000 anti-Islamic protesters rallied for their tenth demonstration in as many weeks Monday in eastern Germany, celebrating the rise of their far-right movement by singing Christmas carols. Germany has for weeks grappled with the emergence of the "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident" or PEGIDA, whose ranks in the city of Dresden have swelled rapidly from just a few hundred in October....

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Dreams & doubts in Cuba after thaw in US ties
Friday, December 19, 2014

HAVANA -- December 19, 2014: Stunned by the sudden announcement of Cuba's rapprochement with the United States, residents of Havana yesterday oscillated between joy and skepticism as they tried figure out what it all means. "I'm still in shock, still digesting the news," said Rolando Rodriguez, a 44-year-old car washer in the capital's Vedado district. ...

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Putin promises economic recovery to worried Russia
Thursday, December 18, 2014

MOSCOW -- December 18, 2014: President Vladimir Putin today attempted to assuage fears of economic collapse and promised rapid recovery as he faced hundreds of journalists during the worst financial crisis of his rule.
 
Speaking at his annual press conference, the Russian leader said that the economic downturn will last two years at the most and he promised to support the poorest segment of the population....

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Central Java landslide has killed 86 villagers
Thursday, December 18, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR -- December 18, 2014: The search for victims of a landslide in the village of Jemblung in Banjarneghara district in central Java found the 86th victim today.
 
However the search had to be halted in the afternoon due to heavy rain, said Wika Hardianto of the Indonesian police.
 
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US, Cuba announce historic thaw in ties
Thursday, December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON -- December 18, 2014: The United States and Cuba moved to end five decades of Cold War hostility yesterday, agreeing to revive diplomatic ties in a surprise breakthrough that would also ease a crippling US trade embargo. In the wake of a prisoner exchange, President Barack Obama said Washington was ready for a new chapter in relations with communist Cuba and would re-establish its embassy in Havana, shuttered since 1961....

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Currency crisis is Putin's biggest challenge
Thursday, December 18, 2014

MOSCOW -- December 18, 2014: He crushed Chechnya's rebellion, pushed back Russia's frontiers and restored the pride of a nation humiliated by the demise of the Soviet Union.
 
But 15 years after he came to power Vladimir Putin faces his biggest challenge yet: how to manage the worst monetary crisis of his era.
 
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Security stepped up as Australia orders siege probe
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SYDNEY -- December 17, 2014: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today ordered an urgent enquiry into why a deranged Islamic gunman was not under surveillance and how he obtained citizenship, as security was stepped up after a fatal cafe siege.
 
Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, 50, had a history of extremism and violence and was on bail for a string of charges, including sexual offences and abetting the murder of his ex-wife....

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